Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Robert N. Hamburger. Robert served during World War II.

In 1941, Robert Hamburger was in his second year at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. While at Chapel Hill he gave antiwar speeches. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he felt so guilty for giving those speeches that he immediately went home and enlisted in the Army in January of 1942. Robert was not called up until eight months later and was sent to Montgomery, Alabama for basic training. During basic training he was on a run when he felt a violent pain in his side. He collapsed and went to the infirmary, where he was diagnosed with appendicitis. Robert then watched the doctor remove his appendix. He was still able to graduate with his class and earned his wings November 3, 1943.

Robert was then assigned to the 9th Fighter Squadron of the Fifth Air Force and sent to the Pacific. He spent most of his time in New Guinea and the Philippines, even covering McArthur’s return to the Philippines. Robert was later shot down on his 53rd mission and was rescued by some Filipinos, who he at first thought were Japanese. The Filipinos took him in and nursed him back to health. Robert stayed with them for a couple months before being rescued by the Marine Corps. Upon returning to base he discovered he had Hepatitis A. After recovering from this he returned home and was discharged in August 1945. Robert completed his undergraduate at Chapel Hill and then went on to Yale Medical School. He passed away in 2014.

We honor his service.

More of his story can be found at

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at

Graphic By Alexandra Craig: Alexandra Craig is an undergraduate senior at the University of San Francisco studying International Peace and Conflict Studies.

Share this story

Published on Dec. 16, 2018

Estimated reading time is 2.3 min.

Views to date: 64

More Stories

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Deborah Jo Pereira, who enlisted in the military at a unique time in her life and in American history.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran John Williams, who served in the Air Force Band and is today a well-known composer of multiple music pieces.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Charles Bronson, who served as a B-29 aerial gunner during World War II and later became a Hollywood action star.